Johanna Quaas recieved the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame's Nadia Comăneci Sportsmanship Award in 2015.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 18, 2023. It has since been updated.
Aging is a fear that we all start to develop in our early 20s and do everything to avoid it. We have been made to believe that everything in life has an age limit. However, that is being proven wrong time and time again by people like Johanna Quaas. She is a 97-year-old German woman who has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's oldest active competitive gymnast, reported My Modern Met.
Quaas has made waves online throughout the years as footage of her performances has been shared on several occasions. Also, her video was posted by Oscar winner Viola Davis on Instagram with the caption "You are my spirit fighter!! Wow!! GOALS!!!!” The video is from the 2017 German Gymnastics Festival when the gymnast was 91 years old, according to a video posted by Metro. Davis' video has received over 400,000 likes. Quaas originally captured the attention of the globe when user LieveDaffy shared YouTube videos of the gymnast's floor and parallel bars performances during the 2012 Tournament of Masters.
They each received over 1.1 million views within six days of publication. Both videos received over 3.5 million views. Her abilities have also captivated the world's best athletes, including Simone Biles, who stated her parallel bars performance left her speechless, reported HuffPost.
Quaas, who was born in 1925, began gymnastics training at a young age and competed in her first competition when she was 10 years old. She spent most of her life as a gymnastics instructor and handball player before returning to active gymnastics at the age of 56. She got the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame's Nadia Comăneci Sportsmanship Award in 2015 before retiring from competition in 2018 due to a ruptured biceps tendon.
That hasn't stopped Quaas from posting her impressive feats on Instagram, notably how she can still stand on her head. She also stretches and plays soccer. The most touching aspect of it all, though, is the lovely messages she receives from people all around the world. Instagram user, @primeofmylife, wrote in one of her videos, "You inspire and challenge me. Thank you and God bless you always!" Another person, @rhonda.morrissey, said, "Wow! You are fantastic. You have inspired me to look after myself better."
In another inspiring story, despite doctors' doubts about her ability to regain movement, a 96-year-old woman continues to lift weights like a genuine champion. A video of the senior lifting a barbell while smiling sweetly made rounds on the internet, inspiring hundreds of netizens to never give up. Starting Strength, a club in Cincinnati, Ohio, told the wonderful story of the smiling weightlifter called Merce in the video. The gym stated in an Instagram post on Merce's fitness journey that following an incident a few years ago that resulted in injured vertebrae, Merce had difficulty walking and needed a walker. The post reads, "Mark had a suspicion that getting stronger could help his mom, so he brought her out to an open house and the rest is history. All of the barbell movements can be modified to meet a trainee's capabilities. And everyone... yes, EVERYONE, can get stronger."